The latest report from the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) shows that 12,000 miles of U.S. crude oil pipelines were constructed in the last five years and there is an increase in both pipeline usage and mileage.
The 2015 “U.S. Liquids Pipeline Usage & Mileage Report” by AOPL and the American Petroleum Institute (API) documents increases in crude oil and natural gas liquids delivered by pipeline and mileage of those pipelines.
“In the time the Keystone XL pipeline was under review, we built the equivalent length of 12 Keystone XL pipelines across the United States,” said Andrew Black, AOPL president & CEO.
In 2014, U.S. crude oil pipelines stretched 66,649 miles, a 5,562 mile or 9.1 percent increase over 2013. Over the last five years, from 2010 to 2014, U.S. crude oil pipeline mileage increased 12,018 miles or more than 22.0 percent. During the last 10 years, crude oil pipeline mileage grew 17,917 miles or an increase of more than 36.8 percent.
Barrels of crude oil delivered by pipeline also continued to increase. In 2014, U.S. pipelines delivered 9.3 billion barrels of crude oil, an increase of nearly 1 million barrels or more than 11.6 percent over 2013. Over the last 5 years, from 2010 to 2014, barrels of crude oil delivered by pipeline increased over 2.1 billion barrels or more than 30.8 percent.
In 2014, total U.S. liquids pipelines carrying crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids stretched 199,243 miles, a 6,826 mile or 3.5 percent increase over 2013. Over the last 5 years, total liquids pipeline mileage increased 17,257 miles or 9.5 percent.
Total barrels of crude oil and petroleum products delivered by pipeline in 2014 reached 16.2 billion barrels, an 8.1 percent increase over 2013. Over the last 5 years, total crude oil and petroleum products barrels delivered by pipeline increased over 2.6 billion barrels or more than 19.5 percent.
The fall in crude prices during 2014 and 2015 has led to a slowdown in U.S. crude production growth. However, the safety, delivery cost and efficiency advantages of pipelines are fundamental. Operators are optimistic about maintaining existing throughput and constructing new pipelines. Over the long term, there will still be a need for pipeline growth to connect supply areas to demand locations. How these dynamics play out will be reflected in the 2016 usage and mileage report.
Crude oil pipelines deliver crude oil from production regions to storage hubs and refineries. Refined petroleum products pipelines deliver gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products from refineries to local distribution centers. Natural gas liquids deliver industrial feed-stocks such as ethane for manufacturing uses and propane for consumer heating and agricultural uses. Together, these pipelines are referred to as liquids pipelines because the delivered products are in a liquid state when they are in the pipeline.
Data compiled in the report reflects AOPL compilation of operator filed reports at the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. A copy of the report can be found by following this link to AOPL’s report page.